Monday, October 20, 2014

More Baptismal Dates

Man! It's been a busy week. I wouldn't want it any other way.

I've apparently got a reputation as someone who can play the piano, so I was asked to accompany a musical number and learn the song in a week. A little stressful, but we did it! We performed for ward conference and it went well! But let me back up and talk about some of the people we've seen this week.

We started teaching a girl named Kelly who has been coming to Institute for a while and we got to start teaching her this week! She's been going to the D&C class with a friend because it was the only one that fit in her schedule. She didn't grow up super religious so I thought it was interesting that she's starting with the "capstone" of our religion, but she loves learning there and she has really been prepared! We asked her about baptism and she said she's been thinking about it for a couple months now. Our bishop asks those who are just baptized to bear their testimony in sacrament meeting on the day of their confirmation. She was there when Tara bore her testimony and has been thinking about it since then! It is so important to just be aware of non-members when they come! Brother Garlick, one of our institute teachers has gone through all the nonmembers enrolled in institute and we've been reaching out to them as well.

I think I talked about Anastasia a while ago, she's read the whole Book of Mormon and feels good about it, but had some concerns about other things that were holding her back. Brother Garlick (he's so great) had the chance to talk to her and help her put her faith first and recognize that although she may have some concerns, they shouldn't be enough to keep her from what she knows is right. It will be easier to work through them once she is baptized as well. So after his great conversation with her we went in and sat with both of them and set a baptismal date for a week and a half later! So she's getting baptized on Friday! What a miracle!

Melane is best friends with Brooke who just got baptized last week. She's been learning and knows it's true, but has been experiencing a lot of family opposition which has been really difficult for her. We met with her again and talked a lot about the significance and blessings of baptism and over the course of several meetings helped her find the strength and faith to set a date for baptism and move forward. The next hurdle is communicating that to the resistant members of her family. She has great faith though, and it's growing. She is acting in faith and I know she will be helped and blessed.

We have seen amazing miracles with people accepting dates to be baptized, but it's a result of encouragement and correction from President about the importance of it and our decision to be bold and invite in faith. After considering that the most powerful messages we have to share are in the first 2 lessons, and after re-learning the principle and power of goal setting, Sister McLean and I decided  that we would extend dates to everyone no later than when we taught the Plan of Salvation, and look at the miracles!!

Other fun things this weekend... We had a ward temple trip and since Brooke was baptized and we made getting her a temple recommend a priority. So we got to make the trip down to Houston to go do baptisms with her for the first time. Since it was a large group we didn't do any baptisms, but we got to dress in white and help coordinate names and people and help out in that way! It was so great to be useful and still be able to be there with Brooke for such a special experience. We drove with her and Patrick to the temple and then got lunch at Steak n Shake on the way back! Apparently they have those in Texas, it's not just an Ohio thing.

I've also been thinking a lot about stewardship this week. I feel an incredible responsibility for the spiritual welfare and progression of all those that have been entrusted to us by the Lord for us to teach and help along the path back to God. It takes a lot of planning and organization and study and prayers and relying on the Spirit to help you know what to say and how to say it in every situation. I have also been thinking about the sister in my zone that I have a responsibility to help. I feel like I've been slacking a little bit in that regard and I'm resolving to do better to seek their welfare as well. 

What are some of your stewardships and how are you helping those around you? Something I have seen over and over again out here are people we are made aware of that are struggling that you never would have guessed. People who seem great, but who need a lot of love and help. We are often too quick to judge a situation, either "that person's kinda weird" or even "that person seems fine" Everyone is in need of help and love and we have a responsibility to get to know them and understand them better, especially if we have a stewardship responsibility.

Thanks for all you are doing! Thank you for your faith and prayers in my behalf and on behalf of the missionaries everywhere. 

Love you lots!!

Sister Andreason

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